Thursday, March 27, 2008

happy birthday patty

Ever heard of Patty Smith Hill? It's her birthday today.

She's one of the most performed composers of the twentieth century, though her most famous composition is a 19th-century piece, first published in conjunction with the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, when she was just twenty-five years old.

Interestingly, because of a strange copyright twist, the song will be protected till 2010; it still brings in two million dollars a year in royalties.

And it's a great day to perform the song in her honor (royalty-free if you sing it privately): "Happy Birthday To You."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

things i did in 07

On Valentine's Day weekend, 1998, I sent to my friends an email titled "things i did in 97." It was a summary of my year, recollected in tranquillity.

Since then, I've done one every year, though recently it's been getting later and later than the Valentine's deadline. Next year, I'll have to get back on track.

Meanwhile, check out the things I did in 07.

(And most of you never got to see the things I did in 06, though I did write it.

So. What did you do?

Saturday, March 22, 2008


1. Which two of the following now occupy large buildings on Baylor's campus?
a] The Center for Biblical Scholarship
b] The Performing and Visual Arts Center
c] The Humanities Center
d] The Discovery Center
e] The Success Center

2. Which article recently appeared in Baylor magazine?
a] Encouraging Students to Visualize Change
b] Impacting Students to Value Change
c] Engaging Students to Impact Change
d] Forcing Students to Engage Change
e] Visualizing Students to Force Change

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Wow! It's been a long time since I updated this. I've got to get on the stick.

I've been filling in at KPAC for the recently departed Kathy Couser, while they find a new person to do the afternoon hours. It's been a blast.

The other day, I invited the string bassist Douglas Balliett to come into the studio with his chamber group and play some music live for us. That's just not done often enough on radio! He agreed, and came in and played some really remarkable music. (Another thing that's not done often enough is string bass solos.)

One thing he played was a favorite of mine, the Homage to the Eternity of Jesus Christ from Olivier Messaien's "Quartet for the End of Time," which he wrote for musicians in a prison camp. It's simple and beautiful — and well-adapted here for string bass and piano. That's Vivienne Spy accompanying.

Take a listen.